In most cases, the answer is also yes.
How quickly endometriosis cells grow is different for everyone. Some never have problems again after an operation, having a child or entering menopause. Some must stay on synthetic hormones to suppress the endometriosis. Some have to undergo regular operations, cutting away more and more.
Endometriosis cells are too small to see with a naked eye, or even a magnifying camera in your belly during a laparoscopy.
It’s no wonder that some cells are missed.
Of course, the larger visible growths can be cut away. And this usually resolves a lot of the pain and infertility issues that led to the laparoscopy.
But the tiny, unseen deposits of endometrial cells usually remain.
That’s why it’s important that samples are taken from the ‘good’ sections of the pelvic walls and organs.
If the laboratory finds there are endometriosis cells in many of these samples, you can take a medication to slow their growths, or try to shrink them away.
You can’t get rid of endometriosis
Too many people are surprised that even after six laparoscopies, with the surgical removal of endometriosis growths and adhesions each time, three chemically-induced menopauses, and now a total hysterectomy, I still have endometriosis.
Samples taken from various healthy-looking locations inside my pelvis contained these ‘bad’ cells.
Had the lab not tested, I would have stayed off medication – the side effects of constant dienogest (progestin) are not pleasant. But now, I’ll be on Visanne until menopause, attempting to slow the regrowth somewhat, seeing as they don’t want me to have another operation for endometriosis for a decade (I’ve had too many already).
Normally, there is the option of using Lupron or Zoladex to actively shrink the growths. This works well for many people. Unfortunately, I’ve already had 3 courses, and must now look after my lower-than-normal bone density.
My endometriosis will never be fully cured, at least not with the current medication options.
Why can’t endometriosis disappear?
Endometriosis doesn’t go away if you ignore it, even after laparoscopic excision, pregnancy or even menopause (chemical or natural), those cells remain.
There is a big misconception that having a child is a ‘cure’ for endometriosis. It’s not. The endometriosis cells remain, dormant during pregnancy due to the nine months of hormonal changes, but still there.
Menopause is also not a cure. Sure, estrogen is reduced as the ovaries shut down. But estrogen is also produced in adipose (fatty) tissue, and many women take estrogen (HRT) tablets to make menopause symptoms milder.
Endometriosis lesions feed on estrogen, and continue to grow, albeit slower when less estrogen is available.
Can we avoid estrogen?
Sadly, we can’t avoid estrogen.
Phytoestrogen naturally occurs in plants and mushrooms.
We are constantly exposed to synthetic xenoestrogens in plastics – water bottles, BPA plastics, plastic wrap and plastic containers.
Parabens and phthalates in cosmetics and lotions are xenoestrogens.
Pesticides and herbicides contain xenoestrogens (atrazine, DDT, endosulfan). Zeranol, a growth-stimulating xenoestrogen, is given to livestock (US and Canada).
The xenoestrogens in the runoff from waste-water treatment and paper wood-pulp bleaching accumulate in fish and wildlife.
As we can’t avoid estrogen, the endometriosis cells can never shut down.
Then what can be done against endometriosis?
The best option is to catch endometriosis early. Limit the spread of the cells and the damage.
Don’t put off having an operation because “it might just clear up by itself”.
Cut out the endometriosis deposits and the tissue surrounding them (don’t burn them – that just spreads the cells around).
Reduce the growth-rate of cells with endometriosis medications (Visanne, Lupron, Zoladex) and/or with pregnancy and menopause, and by avoiding exposure to xenoestrogens.
Never ever …
Don’t tell young girls that period pain or heavy bleeding is ‘normal’.
Never tell any woman that they are faking the pain, and just seeking attention.
Just because you can’t see endometriosis on the outside, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It’s debilitating and disabling.
If you ignore endometriosis, it will make you pay, for the rest of your life.